PAUL TRACY 3rd and DARIO FRANCHITTI 12th IN PRACTICE MOTEGI, JAPAN (April 8, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy was third fastest in today's combined practice on the 1.549-mile oval at Twin Ring Motegi, where he will be a part of a 27-car...
PAUL TRACY 3rd and DARIO FRANCHITTI 12th IN PRACTICE
MOTEGI, JAPAN (April 8, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy was third fastest in today's combined practice on the 1.549-mile oval at Twin Ring Motegi, where he will be a part of a 27-car field for this Saturday's Firestone Firehawk 500 at 1:00 p.m. Japan Time. With the time difference, the event will be broadcast live on ESPN-TV at midnight on Friday.
Tracy, who lost time in this morning's session because of a wheel bearing problem and an engine failure, clocked his best lap in 25.801 seconds for an average speed of 216.131 mph. Only Mauricio Gugelmin and Adrian Fernandez were faster today, as Gugelmin lapped the oval in 25.742 seconds (216.131 mph) and Fernandez turned the quickest lap of the day in 25.732 seconds (216.711 mph).
Meanwhile, Dario Franchitti drove his Team KOOL Green Honda-Reynard to the 12th fastest time in 26.007 seconds (214.419 mph). Franchitti was seventh after the morning session, but he slid down the standings trying to cure a slight understeer.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (3rd with a lap-time of 25.801 seconds / 216.131 mph)
"To recover from our problems this morning (wheel bearing & engine) and not panic by starting to change stuff is very satisfying and shows how strong Team KOOL Green is going to be this season. The car was great this afternoon. As I said, we didn't make any changes from this morning. I was able to get close to guys in traffic and the car was stable. The wind wasn't much of a problem for us. We've got the rear real solid and that's key. If we can maintain the car we have today, we're going to be strong on race day."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (7th fastest with a lap-time of 26.007 seconds / 214.419 mph)
"I think we're getting close to the perfect setup with the car, I'm very happy. A couple of small adjustments and I think we'll be right there. The wind was blowing really hard and you had to be careful out there. Paul and I will sit down with the Team KOOL Green engineers to figure out how to go faster tomorrow. We've pretty much got the car good through Turns 1 and 2, but we need to get through Turns 3 and 4 a little better."